Monday, March 17, 2008

Is the Church Pagan?

Is the Pastorate Pagan? | Out of Ur | Conversations for Ministry Leaders

I've not read this book, just the review on Leadership Journal's website. I'm not sure what to make of it. I don't disagree with the fact that so much of what we do in the church was introduced through the pagan world. A lot of it through the union of church and state brought about by Constantine. But what can we or should we do about that? Is it right to continue to practice things introduced through the pagan world? Is it possible to eliminate those practices completely?

Think about it. Easter, which we will celebrate this week, is in fact, a pagan introduction. Of course the resurrection of Christ is purely Christian, but the way we go about this week, even the name Easter were introduced through pagan culture.

Of course, we still continue to adopt pagan practices. One might lift up the rock sound of our music and even the introduction of secular songs into worship services as a modern pagan practice. But, don't be too holy and claim that's why I prefer the hymns. Many of them were rooted in bar songs of their day too.

I think we do need to be careful not to make the church too pagan. I think we could even go back on some of our practices that were begun by mixing paganism with Christian faith. But I'm not sure how and to what extent we can do this.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Southern Baptist leaders go green - I hope many Christian join them

Southern Baptist leaders go green - Climate Change-

It's good to see that more evangelicals are waking up to the realization that as Christians we should be leading the world on stewardship issues. I'm not saying that we should buy lock stock and barrel the science of global warming. But I will say that it is obvious that humans effect the earth, are using too many resources and need to change our patterns before it is too late. What is too late? I don't know what that will be. Global Warming forecaster, that is the scientist who are describing that increase in fossil fuel consumption has having a negative effect on the climate, seem to indicate that within 20 to 30 years. Some even say we have already past the point of no return.

I'm not willing to accept that argument in its fullest, but I still think that Christians need to take not of serious stewardship issues that are pointed out in the science of global warming and other ecological fields. We cannot deny that our planet is becoming more polluted. Even this morning another story shows that even our pharmaceutical habits are cause water pollution. We have to be more careful with this earth that God has given us watch over.

This is a critically moral issue. God gave us stewardship over this earth. That means that it is His earth, not ours. It means that we have to live on this earth with a realization that billions of other humans live on it too. We must protect this earth as if it and its resources will be used by billions of people over billions of year. We cannot claim that we own certain parts and therefore we have the right to use then as we want. We have to take a look at what is good for a greater number of people. We have to look at what is good for the environment as it relates to the future of this planet that God has us protecting. While the right to be free is a Christian doctrine, that does not mean that all freely conceived ventures go without examination.

Christians as a group are typically pro-life, meaning against abortion. I would hope that we would broaden our understanding of the term pro-life, and become advocates for those who are loosing their lives because of industrial pollution. I would hope that we would take seriously the issues of global warming that may be threatening many lives by causing prolonged drought in place like Africa (or even the western US). Just because the science isn't clear to us right now, doesn't mean that we shouldn't be listening to those scientist, and if we are more serious, raising up people, Christian men and women, to be leaders in the environmental fields to study climate change, water pollution or what ever else may effect this globe that God has charged us with the obligation of protecting.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Because I Pause

My wife is blogging now. Check out her stuff at Because I Pause. She's just getting started but has some good stuff.